Most of us are familiar with the lucky bamboo plant, which is a popular houseplant. Apart from being less messy, these plants are believed to bring in good luck. Though it is known as 'lucky bamboo', this plant is not a true bamboo, but belongs to the genus Dracaena in the family Ruscaceae. Apart from the lucky bamboo plant (Dracaena sanderiana), there are around 39 species of trees and succulent shrubs in this genus.
Dracaena plants are natives to Africa, but some species originated in Asia and Central America. Most of the members of this genus are grown as houseplants, as they require low maintenance. They have long, pointed leaves that sport white, yellow, or pink stripes. Most of these plants grow to a height of two to ten feet.
Common Dracaena Plants
As mentioned above, these plants are very popular as houseplants, as they can tolerate the indoor conditions very well. Apart from that, they require very less maintenance. There are different types of dracaena plants that differ in size and features. While corn plant (Dracaena Fragrans) has woody stems and large leaves with white or yellow stripes, one of the popular cultivars of this species, called Dracaena massangeana have bright yellow stripes on the leaves. Another dracaena species named Dracaena marginata possesses narrow leaves that can have a length of around two feet. As the plant grows, it loses the leaves on the lower parts of the trunk, that turns gray in color. In some species, the leaves have white, yellow, or rose-colored margins. Another species called Dracaena deremensis has bold leaves, and the plant itself is very compact. There is a spotted variety, that is also called gold dust plant (Dracaena surculosa). In short, there are different types of dracaena, that differ in size, color, and other features. If you are interested in these problem-free houseplants, then get a dracaena plant of your choice.
How to Care for a Dracaena Plant
- While buying these plants, choose healthy ones, which are well rooted. In case of plants with a woody stem, select those with firm trunks.
- While lucky bamboo plants do not require soil for growth, others need well-drained soil. Place shards of terracotta pots inside the containers, before filling them with equal parts of potting soil and peat moss. This is to ensure good drainage. Plant your dracaena in large containers and re-pot them every four to five years.
- Though dracaena plants can grow in low light, locations with bright, but indirect light is recommended for a healthy growth. They don't have any special requirements regarding temperature and humidity.
- Watering is required once or twice a week. They need more water during dry weather, and so, the frequency of watering has to be increased, in order to avoid complete drying out of the soil.
- Fertilizers can be used in small amounts during the spring and summer. It will be better to use water-soluble plant foods for these plants.